The industry body said Finland’s proposed legislative project was overdue.
Finland.- The European Gaming and Betting Association has welcomed the proposed legislative project to liberalise gambling in Finland. The Ministry of the Interior has set the train in motion to end the monopoly of state gambling operator Veikkaus and launched a licensing system in the country.
Finland has said that the move is intended to improve channelisation due to the number of players who choose to gamble with unlicensed offshore operators. Veikkaus has welcomed the move but expects to close gambling arcades and lay off around 240 staff.
EGBA secretary general Maarten Haijer said: “This is a welcome step towards meaningful and overdue gambling reform in Finland. The introduction of multi-licensing would provide greater choice and safeguards to Finnish consumers, ensure fairer competition between operators, and enable the Finnish authorities to have greater control over their online gambling market.
“With these changes of the Finnish legislation, all member states of the EU will now have some form of licensing regime for online gambling. We look forward to continuing dialogue with the Finnish government and local stakeholders as the regulatory discussions develop.”
The EGBA said the introduction of licensed gambling would improve player protection, oversight and tax revenues and create a level playing field. The opening of gambling in Finland will be partial, with Veikkaus to maintain its monopoly on lottery and retail betting and gaming. Licences will only be issued for online betting and betting.
The government plans to split Veikkaus into separate companies that will operate within a group, reversing the 2017 merger of the Veikkaus sports betting with slot operator Raha-automaattiyhdistys and horse race betting operator Fintoto. The Interior Ministry will draw up a legislative proposal by spring 2025.